TO THE EDITOR:
It is unfortunate that the The Daily Tar Heel chose to further inflame the growing polarization and extremism in our society by publishing a letter to the editor by Andrew Brennen, Oct. 2, with the false and malicious headline, “Art Pope’s racist history with UNC.”
I have no racist history, and Mr. Brennen’s letter did not accuse me of racism.
What Mr. Brennan’s letter did ask was whether I believe that David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan “have a legitimate claim to first amendment protection” at campus sponsored events.
My answer is that I stand by the quote attributed to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Today, and in 1975, I vehemently disagree(d) with Duke and the KKK.
Just seven years before, in 1968, a Federal Court rightfully overturned the state’s “Speaker Ban Law,” which banned known communists from speaking at UNC.
You can’t celebrate the rejection of the speaker ban while embracing a ban on Duke.
It is wrong and unconstitutional for a democratically-elected legislature (and for that matter, a single self-appointed student), to decide who should be banned from speaking, rather than letting each UNC student decide what he or she wants to hear.